Mile High Key Lime Pie Recipe

The world wide web gives us unlimited access to anything we may be in search of…. including Key Lime Pie recipes. With thousands (maybe even millions) of key lime pie recipes floating around the interwebs, we know it can be hard to pick the perfect one. Sunset Watersports has tried its share of key lime pie, so we know when we find a good one. Here’s an old Conch-family recipe that is guaranteed to be a sweet success and a visually appealing masterpiece on your dinner table.

Key Lime Pie Recipe - Sunset Watersports
Mile High Key Lime Pie Recipe by long-time Key West local, Eleanor Appel

If you try out this recipe, let us know what you think! If you have any personal suggestions or tips, also please share your comments.

It wouldn’t be right if we talked about key lime pie in Key West without mentioning David Sloan, our local expert… because when it comes to getting serious with pie, he’s your guy. His cookbook, “The Key Lime Pie Cookbook,” features recipes for 20 crusts, 20 fillings, 20 sauces and 20 toppings for different key lime pie creations. So, if you’re looking for something a little different and a bit more variety, make sure you check out Sloan’s beautiful cookbook HERE!  


Sunset Watersports – Key West’s Premier Activities, Attractions and Watersports Company
Key West Bight * Smathers Beach * Parrot Key Resort * Hurricane Hole Marina
Key West, FL 33040 (305) 296-2554

What is a Key West Conch?

The use of the term “conch” can be confusing for visitors of Key West because on the island, it’s not just a fritter on your plate or queen beneath the sea… it’s a person, too. Allow us to explain.

A conch is a large sea snail that lives in the depths of Caribbean waters. In the Florida Keys, the more common and identifiable species of sea snail is the queen conch. Snorkelers and divers will frequently spot these beautiful creatures situated on the ocean floor. The outer shell of a queen conch is white and tan, and often covered in algae. If you flip it over, you’ll see a beautiful combination of bright pinks and whites.

Now let’s head to the dinner table, where this sea slug turns into a deliciously fried fritter that is a favorite of both locals and visitors. If done a certain way, the meat of a conch can be removed without damaging its magnificent shell. Once the meat has been extracted, it can prepared a few different ways, not just fried. Many enjoy it in chowder, ceviche or sushi style. However, one thing remains consistent….when it comes to conch, we aren’t picky, and no matter how it’s prepared, we won’t complain!


Now here’s where things get tricky. We’ve used the term conch to describe a sea creature and a delectable dishes, but now we will use the term to describe a human (and no, they do not live underwater or are fried like a fritter). In the late 1800s, Bohemian immigrants in the Florida Keys were nicknamed “conchs”. By the 1900s, Key West was occupied by a large population of Bohemian descendants. Over the years, residents of Key West started calling themselves “Key West Conchs” as well. Today, anyone who was born in Key West is considered a “Saltwater Conch” while long-term residents are called a “Freshwater Conch”.

In 1982, the U.S. government set up a blockade at the entrance of the main highway going into the Florida Keys. Visitors and residents were required to provide proof of U.S. citizenship before being able to pass. The mayor of Key West threatened the Federal court with succession from the Union as the Conch Republic. The issue was quickly resolve, but since that day, Key West has been referred to as the Conch Republic.

So there you have it, three different meanings of the phrase “Key West Conch”.  Now the next time you’re asked what a conch is, you can offer up some impressive trivia!

Sunset Watersports – Key West’s Premier Activities, Attractions and Watersports Company
Key West Bight * Smathers Beach * Parrot Key Resort * Hurricane Hole Marina
Key West, FL 33040 (305) 296-2554